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Statistics has always captivated me, especially in light of its connection to objectivity. As a researcher and a Christian learner, I found the topic of "search for significance and outlier" to be most relevant to me from the two articles. My eyes have been awakened by the writing, and it has reminded me to watch out should I unintentionally violate my beliefs.
I used to work for a tiny local data company that specialized in counseling businesses on issues like market viability during the holiday season. I remember how at times a bunch of friends and I were made to follow a pre-conceived approach that was supposed to provide the most desirable results that would advantage businesses in their quest to convince stakeholders. To achieve our "objectives," analysts were made to decide on if to include outlier cases and to what extent.
Today, after the enlightenment from both my teachers and coursework material, I look back in dismay at what I was aiding unknowingly. Even though the matter was often considered ethical at the time, I have now realized that it was against my Christian values that call upon me to exhibit love and care in the things we do. Isaiah 1: 17 assert, “Learn to do right, seek justice, defend the oppressed…” (NLT). The verse above calls upon dedicated Christians to desist from taking advantage of situations that favor them to obtain personal gains. According to Shaw (1991), repeating a mistake is unethical, and I do not think I will dare to repeat the mistakes. It would also be going against the religious principles that shape my daily life.
As Geertsema (1987) concurs, Christian values go further than ethical considerations in determining some of the most controversial statistical issues. First, it calls upon a believer to follow the ways of Christ and the words of the Bible as it has been the tradition of Christian for many years. Secondly, Christianity encourages its believers to be watchful enough to avoid actions that are unjust, which when contrasted with the utilitarianism described by Mill (1971) concerning "satisfying the greatest" number would mean preventing an action that is not right even if it means the majority of the people will lose. Thirdly, my religion calls upon me to do unto others what I want to be done unto me (Mathew 7:12, NLT). Finally, the Bible reminds us that nothing that is under the sun can be hidden from God's eyes, which is a call to do more than just what would be accepted on a national media channel.
A Christian in my situation at the time could have made things correct by sticking to what is right and just. This approach could have meant weighing the matter and taking a move that is right according to the situation on the ground regardless of whether the client gets satisfied or not. Also, where an outlier omission or inclusion is made, it would mean mentioning it to the client (Ostapski & Superville, 2012).
In summary, I find that integrating a Christian view into statistics provides a perspective that is more than just ethical. It makes it possible for believers to engage in things that are factual and veracious, which is the objective of many professionals. I would thus recommend that more efforts are put into defining the role of Christianity in the works of a researcher.
Geertsema. J. C. (1987) A Christian view of the foundation of statistics. Perspectives on Science
and Christian Faith, 39 (3): 158-164 retrieved from http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/1987/PSCF9-87Geertsema.html
Hooykaas, R. (1972). Religion and the Rise of Modern Science. Edinburgh: Scottish
Mill, J.S. (1971), Utilitarianism, Bobbs-Merrill, Indianapolis, IN
Ostapski, S. A & Superville, C. R. (2012). The statistical consultant confronts ethical issues:
Reflection before action. Retrieved from http://www.westga.edu/~bquest/2001/consultant.htm
Shaw, W.H. (1991), Business Ethics, Wadsworth Publishing Co., Belmont, CA
The Holy Bible NLT, (1996). Wheaton Ill: Tyndale House Publishers Inc.
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